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Mayor Backs Philadelphia School District Request For Tens Of Millions More

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The School District of Philadelphia is telling City Council it needs more money from the city to balance its budget.

A lot more.

And Mayor Nutter is on board with the idea.

Without more money, the School District says it would be forced to eliminate full-day kindergarten, most yellow bus service, student TransPasses, and class-size reduction programs (see previous story).

What would it cost to spare them?   Schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman told City Council, "It would be $75 to $110 million."

Mayor Nutter says he supports giving the school district that much more city money.  But the question is, will it be raised through a tax increase or by shifting existing revenues, or a combination of both?  Nutter wouldn't get specific.

"For where we are right now, there are a variety of options that need to be discussed," the mayor said.  "I'm not going to drill now into the details in a matter that is literally just evolving."

The school district adopts a budget next Tuesday.  But if more city cash is on the way, district officials say that budget can always be amended.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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